ActRaiser and Chrono Trigger to disappear when Wii Shop Channel shuts down

Classic SNES games including ActRaiser, Chrono Trigger and Earthworm Jim are going to disappear from sale when the Wii Shop Channel finally shuts down in January 2019.

The Wii Shop Channel launched in 2006 and there are now around 300 games available through its Virtual Console storefront. The Virtual Console has also appeared on the Wii U and 3DS, but the selection on games on each system is quite different. Notably, there are more than 200 titles currently available on the Wii Shop Channel Virtual Console that can’t be downloaded on Wii U or 3DS – and many aren’t available to download anywhere else, unless you want to step into the murky world of unofficial emulation.

Notable titles set to vanish include ActRaiser, Chrono Trigger, Earthworm Jim, Earthworm Jim 2, Super Smash Bros., A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, DoReMi Fantasy: Milon’s DokiDoki Adventure, Gradius III, Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole and Super Star Wars.

A few of these can be bought elsewhere – for example, Super Star Wars can be downloaded for PS4 and Vita, and Chrono Trigger was released on cartridge for the Nintendo DS (although it’s quite hard to get hold of these days). But ActRaiser is just one of the games that can only be officially purchased on the Wii Shop Channel Virtual Console – unless you own the original SNES cartridge and a console to play it on, of course.

You can buy games from the Wii Shop Channel Virtual Console on the Wii U, but bear in mind that you’ll almost certainly need an original Wii Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro to play most of them – they can’t be played with the Wii U Pro Controller or Wii Remote.

Switch saviour?

We still don’t know Nintendo’s plans (if any) for bringing the Virtual Console to the Switch. Some of these titles could well end up being downloadable again on Nintendo’s latest console. But if you’ve got a hankering to play ActRaiser (and you really should, it was one of the titles we reckoned should have been on the SNES Mini), then you’d better make sure you grab it from the Wii Shop Channel in the next year and a bit.

Below is the full list of 226 games that will disappear from the Wii Shop Channel Virtual Console in January 2019 and that can’t be purchased on the Wii U or 3DS – note that games with an asterisk are available on the SNES Mini. (List taken from Polygon via Reddit.)

  • 1942
  • A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia
  • ActRaiser
  • Adventures of Lolo
  • Aero the Acro-Bat
  • Aero the Acro-Bat 2
  • Alex Kidd in Miracle World
  • Alex Kidd in Shinobi World
  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  • Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars
  • Alien Soldier
  • Alien Storm
  • Art of Fighting 2
  • Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior
  • Baseball Stars 2
  • Battle Lode Runner
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa
  • Bio-Hazard Battle
  • Black Tiger
  • Blades of Steel
  • Bomberman ’93
  • Bomberman Hero
  • Bonanza Bros.
  • Bonk’s Adventure
  • Bonk’s Revenge
  • Bonk 3: Bonk’s Big Adventure
  • Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure
  • Boulder Dash
  • Bravoman
  • Break In
  • Bubble Bobble
  • BurgerTime
  • California Games
  • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
  • Chase H.Q.
  • Cho Aniki
  • Chrono Trigger
  • ClayFighter
  • Columns
  • Columns III: Revenge of Columns
  • Comix Zone
  • Commando
  • Cratermaze
  • Cruis’n USA
  • Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine
  • Darius Twin
  • Dead Moon
  • Digital Champ: Battle Boxing
  • DoReMi Fantasy: Milon’s DokiDoki Adventure
  • Double Dribble
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Dragon Spirit
  • Dragon’s Curse
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • Dynastic Hero
  • Earthworm Jim
  • Earthworm Jim 2
  • Ecco Jr.
  • Ecco: The Tides of Time
  • Elevator Action
  • Enduro Racer
  • Eternal Champions
  • Exed Exes
  • Fantasy Zone
  • Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa
  • Fatal Fury 2
  • Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory
  • Fatal Fury: King of Fighters
  • Faxanadu
  • Fighter’s History Dynamite
  • Fighting Street
  • Final Fantasy
  • Final Fantasy II
  • Final Fantasy III*
  • Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
  • Forgotten Worlds
  • Gain Ground
  • Galaga ’90
  • Gaplus
  • Gate of Thunder
  • Ghoul Patrol
  • Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
  • Gley Lancer
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Axe II
  • Golden Axe III
  • Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou
  • Gradius III
  • Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures
  • International Karate
  • Ironclad
  • J.J. & Jeff
  • Kid Chameleon
  • King of the Monsters
  • King’s Knight
  • Kirby’s Avalanche
  • Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole
  • Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance
  • Legend of Hero Tonma
  • Light Crusader
  • Lords of Thunder
  • Lunar Pool
  • M.U.S.H.A.
  • Magical Drop II
  • Magical Drop III
  • Mappy
  • Mega Turrican
  • Mercs
  • Metal Slug
  • Metal Slug 2
  • Metal Slug 4
  • Military Madness
  • Milon’s Secret Castle
  • Monster Lair
  • Monster World IV
  • Moto Roader
  • NAM-1975
  • NES Play Action Football
  • Neo Turf Masters
  • Ninja Combat
  • Ninja Commando
  • Ninja JaJaMaru-kun
  • Ninja Master’s
  • Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen
  • Operation Wolf
  • Ordyne
  • Phantasy Star
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  • Pitstop II
  • Pokémon Puzzle League
  • Power Golf
  • Powerball
  • Prince of Persia
  • Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom
  • Psychosis
  • Pulseman
  • Puyo Puyo 2
  • Real Bout Fatal Fury
  • Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers
  • Real Bout Fatal Fury Special
  • Riot Zone
  • Ristar
  • Rolling Thunder 2
  • Rygar
  • S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team
  • Samurai Ghost
  • Samurai Shodown
  • Samurai Shodown II
  • Samurai Shodown III
  • Secret Command
  • Secret of Mana*
  • Sengoku
  • Sengoku 2
  • Sengoku 3
  • Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force II: Ancient Sealing
  • Shining in the Darkness
  • Shinobi
  • Shock Troopers 2nd Squad
  • SonSon
  • Sonic & Knuckles
  • Sonic 3D Blast
  • Sonic Chaos
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 3
  • Space Harrier II
  • Space Invaders: The Original Game
  • Splatterhouse
  • Splatterhouse 2
  • Star Force
  • Star Soldier
  • Street Fighter II: Champion Edition
  • Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
  • Street Slam
  • Streets of Rage 3
  • Strider
  • Summer Games II
  • Super Adventure Island
  • Super Adventure Island II
  • Super Air Zonk: Rockabilly-Paradise
  • Super Baseball 2020
  • Super Bonk
  • Super Fantasy Zone
  • Super Smash Bros.
  • Super Star Wars
  • Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
  • Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Super Thunder Blade
  • Super Turrican
  • Sword of Vermilion
  • The Combatribes
  • The King of Fighters ’94
  • The King of Fighters ’95
  • The King of Fighters ’96
  • The King of Fighters ’97
  • The King of Fighters ’98
  • The Last Blade
  • The Last Blade 2
  • The Last Ninja
  • The Legend of Kage
  • The Revenge of Shinobi
  • The Tower of Druaga
  • ToeJam & Earl
  • ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron
  • Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy
  • Tower Toppler
  • Vectorman
  • Virtua Fighter 2
  • Wonder Boy
  • Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
  • Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap
  • Wonder Boy in Monster Land
  • Wonder Boy in Monster Land
  • Wonder Boy in Monster World
  • World Class Baseball
  • World Heroes
  • World Heroes 2
  • World Heroes 2 Jet
  • Ys Book I & II
  • Zanac
  • Zaxxon
  • Zombies Ate My Neighbors

And finally, let’s play out with the sweet, soothing sounds of the Wii Shop Channel music – it will be sorely missed.

9 Comments

    1. I used to love that game! I was so disappointed when the sequel Ghoul Patrol turned out to be a bit rubbish by comparison.

      Zombies had such a great sense of humour, it was a real joy to play.

      1. I’ve got a feeling it was made by a different developer from the original… [CHECKS] Yep, it was, according to Wikipedia anyway.

    1. I know, that’s tough. I guess they have to switch off the servers at some point though. It makes you realise how ephemeral digital only games are – soon, titles like Lostwinds on Wiiware will only be available to people who have then already downloaded on their Wii.

      1. It also makes you realize to have less sympathy for developers and more sympathy for emulators. Paying customers give their money and receive nothing in return. Musics and books don’t do this for the most part because they actually allow you to back up your stuff. Especially if their digital platform is going out of business. The best recent example of this is Groove Music. The problem with trying to back up data from nintendo’s platforms, it will only work on the original system. So if anything happens to the system all of it is gone and now you can’ even redownload it.

  1. I’m jus gonna pop in, be smug, & then vanish as I own a DS copy of Chrono Trigger & It’ll Never Leave My Side!!!!! Bows Politely

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